Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Written by Hombre Divertido

The Time Traveler’s Wife is pleasant enough, but you have to let go of a lot of questions to truly appreciate her.

[Please note that the author of this review has made every effort not to include plot spoilers, and thus certain points may remain slightly vague, and some characters not identified.]

Directed by Robert Schwentke and based on the best-selling book by author Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the story of Clare who has grown up believing that she is destined to marry Henry. A grown-up Henry has visited Clare throughout her life due to his genetic disorder that causes him to disappear and travel throughout time for inconsistent periods of time, with little notice. The relationship between Clare and Henry remains strong, as they learn to deal with Henry’s affliction, like any couple would adapt to a more common malady.

Henry and Clare deal with the time traveling much easier then the audience may, as many questions go unanswered and aspects of the time-travel experiences go unexplored. This may frustrate many, but if you are able to focus on the relationship, which is essentially what the movie is about, you will enjoy the experience much more.

Apparently the novel provides substantially more detail, where as the movie focuses solely on the relationship between the two leads. Nonetheless, it does take too long to get to the story arc that creates the majority of the drama. Yes, we understand that the time traveling causes problems for the couple, but once they learn to accept the situation, the audience is left to wait far too long to get to the point where it is clear what is ultimately going to create the significant conflict.

Casting is the key to success here, as it is the performances that carry us through the holes in the story. Rachel McAdams as Clare gives the best performance in the film, as she is extremely engaging throughout her range of emotions. Eric Bana as the time traveler gives an intriguing performance, but is a bit too stoic, and ultimately distracts from the happier moments. Hailey and Tatum McCann, as Alba, steal every scene they are in as they light up the screen with natural energy. Casting Stephen Tobolowsky as the doctor attempting to help Henry with his problem was unfortunately a mistake. Tobolowsky is certainly an excellent character actor, but is too well known for this part, and caused snickers from the audience as soon as he hit the screen.

The music accents the film well, and the cinematography certainly makes it attractive to look at, but the special effects utilized to make Henry disappear are a bit outdated, and ultimately the final product has an eighties feel to it.

Recommendation: The Time Traveler’s Wife is a film that is going to appeal to a lot of people, as it is a powerful love story that will certainly pull on the heart strings. At 117 minutes, a lot more could have been added to give the film a wider appeal.

Greek: Chapter Three

Written by Pirata Hermosa

For those of you who haven’t watched Greek before, it’s a television show that airs Monday night on the ABC Family Network. You’re probably thinking that it’s just another kids’ show. That’s kind of what I was thinking, but I was surprised to find out it’s a very adult show. It didn’t seem very family-friendly to me. The show is about a bunch of young adults in college and their experiences in Greek fraternity/sorority life. This includes everything from drunken parties, sleeping around, and just general debauchery.

The story focuses on two siblings. Rusty Cartwright (Jacob Zachar) is a geeky freshman who excels in science and engineering. He’s finally made it to college and has decided that he wants to experience more than simple academics. He wants to be a member of a fraternity. And the one he becomes a member of is the KTs, the biggest party house on campus. His sister, Casey (Spencer Grammer), is the president of the university’s most popular sorority the ZBZs. She’s a junior and everything she does is always prim and proper, that is until her younger brother shows up. As soon as Rusty arrives everything starts to crash in Casey’s life. He catches her rich boyfriend, Evan Chambers (Jake McDorman) sleeping with the Senator’s daughter and future ZBZ pledge, Rebecca Logan (Dilshad Vadsaria). So immediately there’s an instant love triangle and a lot of animosity right from the beginning.

To add to the drama they also throw in:

Cappie (Scott Michael Foster), president of the KT house, former best friends with Evan, and ex-boyfriend of Casey whom he is still in love with.

Dale (Clark Duke), Rusty’s roommate, who hangs the confederate flag and talks of abstinence and purity pledges.

Calvin (Paul James), who becomes fast friends with Rusty but ends up in the rival fraternity as Evan’s frat brother. He is also the one gay character in the show and has to learn to deal with his own identity issues as well as the reactions of others.

Frannie (Tiffany Dupont), who was the ZBZ president until she was kicked out of the sorority. She is desperately trying to get back in and run again for president.

Ashleigh (Amber Stevens), Casey’s always-positive sidekick.

You can see just with all these character types and conflicting interests that the storylines can get rather involved, much like a soap opera.

The Chapter Three DVD is the first ten episodes of the new season and starts where season one ended. The gang is back from Spring Break and has to deal with the consequences of what happened. Rebecca found out her father had an affair, so she is on a rampage and entered a wet T-shirt contest. Of course someone with a cell phone has posted it on the Internet. Cappie and Casey kissed. Rusty and Calvin have patched up their friendship, which was on the verge of crumbling, and Evan has given in to the pressure from his parents and decided to join forces with Frannie.

In the first season the story seemed to be more about Rusty and his fitting in, but now it’s more about Casey who struggles for power with Frannie as they both try to win the presidency of the sorority. It also follows Casey’s love life as a new man enters into the picture, Max (Michael Rady). He’s Rusty’s R.A. and almost as geeky. The over-focusing on Casey’s life has dragged the show to a slow crawl in this chapter.

It also doesn’t help that Evan and Rebecca are no longer such villains. It’s somewhat a catch-22. You need that friction between characters to keep things exciting, but at the same time they are so well written and fully developed that you really like them. You want them to come to their senses and be friends with the others.

I’m hoping they’ll introduce a new character in season three, which premieres August 31, one we can all hate who will breathe some new life into the show.

The Special Features on the DVD include:

20 Questions with the Cast of Greek – the questions are loosely based on the show and episodes: Are you anything like your character? Have you ever been on a pity date? Which character would you like to be friends with in real life? Those are just some of the questions. It’s a little awkwardly done with the cast split up in different rooms and the responses aren’t terribly exciting.

Blooper Reel – A very basic blooper reel mostly filled with flubbing lines or laughing in the middle of a scene. The bloopers are edited so quickly that it loses all context and comes across very flat.

There is also cast and creator commentary on the episodes: “Brothers and Sisters,” “The Popular Vote,” and “Hell Week.”